Mini Masakåda to play in SKorea

KOREA-BOUND: Mini Masakåda, Guam U15 Girls National Team, open play Aug. 5 in the East Asian Football Federation U15 Girls Football Festival 2019 in South Korea. Pictured are: front row, from left, Yasmeen Lopez, Mia Borja, Victoria Rapadas, Anna Jones, Olivia Haddock and Analea Meno; second row, from left, Ralph Awa, assistant coach and team manager; Sarah Benavente, Tristyana Santos, Gabrielle Moser, Ashley Larkin and Kimberly Sherman, head coach; back row, from left, Jordan Baden, Annika Almario, Kaia Malakooti, Isabella Clement, Jada Han, Jadyn Palomares and Olivia Leon Guerrero. Photo courtesy of GFA

A squad of 17 players called up to the Mini Masakåda, Guam U15 Girls National Team, departed Guam to play in the East Asian Football Federation U15 Girls Football Festival 2019.

The EAFF tournament, kicking off today, will take place at the Mokpo International Football Center in South Korea. 

Guam, placed in Group B, will compete against Hong Kong, Mongolia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Guam, in the intergroup format event, for some of its fixtures, will cross over to Group A. Making up Group A, China PR, Chinese Taipei, Japan and South Korea are formidable opponents. 

“This festival will provide players with many opportunities to gain experience for their continued development and will serve as a tool to prepare them for future competitions,” said Kimberly Sherman, Mini Masakåda head coach. “We have recently introduced a new playing style, which encourages players to be more proactive versus reactive when playing football.”

The Mini Masakåda roster includes goalkeepers Gabrielle Moser and Tristyana Santos, and field players Annika Almario, Jordan Baden, Sarah Benavente, Mia Borja, Isabella Clement, Olivia Haddock, Jada Han, Anna Jones, Ashley Larkin, Olivia Leon Guerrero, Yasmeen Lopez, Kaia Malakooti, Analea Meno, Jadyn Palomares and Victoria Rapadas. 

Sherman said her goals are to “give every player as much competitive experience as possible.”

She added she wants to “provide our players first-time off-island competitive experience and provide an opportunity for the players to learn our National Team setup.”

Guam, in its first match, will take on CNMI at 7 p.m. (Guam time). On Tuesday, Aug. 6, they will play Hong Kong. On Wednesday, Aug. 7, they will take on Mongolia. After a day of rest, Guam will enter Pool A. 

The team rests for one day before playing a pair of intergroup matches. 

The tournament concludes Aug. 10.

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